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And everything was strange and new;
The sparrows were brighter than peacocks here,
And their dogs outran our fallow-deer,
And honey-bees had lost their stings,
And horses were born with eagles' wings:
And just as I became assured
My lame foot would be speedily cured,
The music stopped, and I stood still,
And found myself outside the hill,
Left alone against my will,
To go now limping as before,
And never hear of that country more!"
Alas, alas for Hamelin!
There came into many a burgher's pate
A text which says that Heaven's gate
Opes to the rich at as easy rate
As the needle's eye takes a camel in!
The Mayor sent East, West, North, and South,
To offer the Piper, by word of mouth,
Wherever it was man's lot to find him,
Silver and gold to his heart's content,
If he'd only return the way he went,
And bring the children behind him.
But when they saw 't was a lost endeavour,
And Piper and dancers were gone for ever,
They made a decree that lawyers never
Should think their records dated duly
If, after the day of the month and the year,
These words did not as well appear:
"And so long after what happened here
On the twenty-second of July,
Thirteen hundred and seventy-six:"
And the better in memory to fix
The place of the children's last retreat,
They called it, the Pied Piper's Street –
Where any one playing on pipe or tabor
Was sure for the future to lose his labour.
Nor suffered they hostelry or tavern
To shock with mirth a street so solemn;
But opposite the place of the cavern
They wrote the story on a column,
And on the great church-window painted
The same, to make the world acquainted
How their children were stolen away;
And there it stands to this very day.
And I must not omit to say
That in Transylvania there's a tribe
Of alien people that aseribe
The outlandish ways and dress,
On which their neighbours lay such stress,
To their fathers and mothers having risen
Out of some subterraneous prison
Into which they were trepanned,
Long ago in a mighty band,
Out of Hamelin town in Brunswick land,
But how or why, they don't understand.
XV So, Willy, let you and me be wipers Of scores out with all men - especially pipers!
"Lock to the presence: are the carpes sprea,
The dazie o'er the head,
The cushions in the chairs,
And all the candies Egbred on the stairs!
Perfume the chambers, and in any case
Let each man give attendance in his place.".
Thus, if a king were coming, would we do;
And 't were good reason too;
For 't is a duteous thing
To show all honour to an earthly king,
And after all our travail and our cost,
So he be pleased, to think no labour lost.
But at the coming of the King of Heaven
All's set at six and seven;
We wallow in our sin,
Christ cannot find a chamber in the inn.
We entertain him always like a stranger,
And, as at first, still lodge him in the manger.
NOW THAT THE WINTER'S GONE
Now that the winter's gone, the earth hath lost
Her snow-white robes, and now no more the frost
Candies the grass, or culls an icy cream
Upon the silver lake, or crystal stream;
But the warm sun thaws the benumb'd earth
And makes it tender; gives a second birth
To the dead swallow; wakes in hollow tree
The drowsy cuckoo, and the humble bee;
Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring
In triumph to the world the youthful Spring.
Sing his praises that doth keep
Our flocks from harm,
Pan, the father of our sheep;
And arm in arm
Tread we softly in a round,
Whilst the hollow neighbouring ground
Fills the music with her sound.
Pan, O great god Pan, to thee
Thus do we sing!
Thou who keep'st us chaste and free
As the young spring:
Ever be thy honour spoke,
From that place the morn is broke,
To that place day doth unyoke!
WhenE'ER I see soft hazel eyes
And nut-brown curls,
I think of those bright days I spent
Among the Limerick girls;
When up through Cratla woods I went
Nutting with thee,
And we pluck'd the glossy clustering fruit
From many a bending tree.
Beneath the hazel boughs we sat,
Thou, love, and I,
And the gather'd nuts lay in thy lap,
Beneath thy downcast eye;